Ages are a feature added to Civilization VI in the Rise and Fall expansion pack. They reflect the general achievements of your civilization for the previous period of its development, bringing enthusiasm and vigor to its people, or otherwise doubt and despair. The new Ages system is reminiscent of the old Golden Age mechanics from previous Civilization titles, but is greatly expanded and intertwined with the new Loyalty mechanics. There are now four distinct Ages (Normal, Golden, Dark and Heroic), each with its own gameplay effects, and instead of them changing only occasionally (as was in Civilization V), Ages now accompany your civilization throughout its history - from the dawn of time to the end of times. Will you remain in a Normal Age, rise to a Golden Age, or fall into a Dark Age? This will depend on what significant feats your civilization performs at any moment.
The Ages system is pretty simple, but its mechanics are both important and complicated enough to require some explanation.
Game Eras and Ages
Civilization VI: Rise and Fall introduces the concept of a Game Era: a general era valid for the whole world, and not only for individual players. While this may sound similar to the World Eras in Civilization V: Brave New World, its gameplay effect here is quite different, although individual eras still exist and their effects remain relevant. For example, Roads will upgrade for each civilization individually as soon as they reach their relevant individual era, while city-state quests will now be updated upon starting a new World Era, instead of when entering the next individual era. Also, individual eras are considered when determining the validity of the Colonial War Casus Belli.
Still, the major factor determining when the world will enter the next era remains individual progression of civilizations. The faster they progress with technological and civic research, the faster the next World Era will start. And when this happens, all civilizations will enter a new Age which reflects the Era Score they collected in the previous World Era.
You will get a 10-turn warning when the Game Era is about to change. Use it to try and earn as much Era Score as you can.
Note that all civilizations start the game in a Normal Age in the Ancient World Era.
While technological and social progress remains the means to progress towards the next "individual" era, the brand new Era Score is the way you progress towards the next Age. This score reflects the major achievements a civilization has managed since the last World Era ended, achievements which now bear the fanciful name "Historic Moments." Many types of game events may turn into Historic Moments - for example, establishing contacts with a Tribal Village, discovering a new Natural Wonder, or building your civilization's unique unit for the first time. At the same time, it's interesting to note that some of these events are only considered "historic" within a certain World Era. For example, finding a Tribal Village may be important enough in the Ancient Era, but it won't matter much in the Renaissance.
Every Historic Moment adds one or more points to your Era Score. Whenever the new World Era starts, your current Era Score is compared with both the Dark Age and Golden Age thresholds to determine the outcome:
- If you're below the Dark Age threshold, you will now enter a Dark Age.
- If you're between the Dark Age and the Golden Age thresholds, you will continue in a Normal Age, which is also your starting Age.
- If you've passed the Golden Age threshold, prepare for a time of great advancements and achievements for your civilization.
Note that the Dark Age threshold increases if you are in a Golden Age. In other words, it becomes more difficult to achieve a Normal (and hence a Golden) Age in the next Game Era. Also, the next Age thresholds are calculated from your current Era Score at the moment of era change. This means that any points you earn above the Golden Age threshold are wasted, because they will not carry over to the next era cycle. With this in mind, whenever you earn enough points for a Golden Age you may wish to postpone any further Era Score-earning activities until the change of the Game Era - this way, they won't go to waste.
Your Era Score is always visible as a bar circling the End Turn button in the lower right corner of the game interface, as well as a number right below it. Additional details about your current Age, Era Score and some other information may be found by pressing a new button at the top right corner of the screen.
There are two main gameplay effects related to the Ages system: Loyalty pressure and Dedications.
The Ages system is closely related to Loyalty, because it is meant to reflect the enthusiasm and pride your people feel for their country and for you personally as their leader. In short, what Age you are currently in directly affects the Loyalty Citizens exert. If you are in a Golden Age, they will exert greater than normal pressure, and if you are in a Dark age, it will be less than normal.
Another mark of the new Ages system, a Dedication is a broad gameplay focus which a leader chooses for their people each time the world enters a World Era. That means that you will always enjoy a Dedication throughout the game, except at the very beginning (because you hadn't had the chance to earn Era Score yet).
Dedications' main goal is to increase your Era Score. You may choose Culture-oriented, Construction-oriented, and various other kinds of Dedications; actions which satisfy this orientation will then earn additional Era Score beyond their basic functionality. For example, you may earn points each time you construct a particular type of building, trigger a Eureka, or convert a city to your religion. If you choose your Dedication well, anticipating the direction in which you intend to develop, you stand a good chance of earning a significant extra score for your next Age!
There are always four different Dedications to choose from. However, since there are eleven Dedications available, specific Dedication choices depend on the era the world is currently in. That is, the particular set of Dedications available changes according to the era the world enters into. For example, Exodus of the Evangelists is available only through the first 3 eras (Classical through Renaissance), while Wish You Were Here is available only in the last 2 eras.
Each Dedication has two versions: Normal (available for Normal and Dark Ages) and Golden Age. While Normal versions are focused on helping you increase your Era Score, Golden Age Dedications are in fact powerful bonuses which act as rewards for your good performance and give you a significant edge over your competitors! For example, you may get to Purchase civilian units with Faith - something normally impossible, even with Religious Beliefs! Note, however, that Golden Age versions do not help you increase Era Score (except when playing as Georgia). This makes it even more difficult to achieve another Golden Age, or even maintain a Normal Age in the next game era.
Here follows a list of Dedications, their effects, and the World Eras they are available. In the Strategy section below you can also find a discussion of the best uses of each Golden Age Dedication bonus.
|Dedication||Normal/Dark Age Effect||Golden Age Effect||Class.||Med.||Ren.||Ind.||Mod.||At.||Inf.||Fut.|
|Gain +1 Era Score each time you construct a Specialty District.||+2 Movement for Builders. Civilian units may be purchased with Faith. Settlers and Builders' Purchases are 30% cheaper.||✓||✓||✓||-||-||-||-||-|
Pen, Brush and Voice
|Gain +1 Era Score when you trigger an Inspiration, and when you construct a building with a Great Work slot.||Inspiration provide an additional 10% of Civic costs. +1 Culture per Specialty District for each city.||✓||✓||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Gain +1 Era Score when you trigger a Eureka, and when constructing a building which provides Science.||Eureka provide an additional 10% of Technology costs. Commercial Hubs and Harbors provide Science equal to their Gold bonus.||✓||✓||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Exodus of the Evangelists
|Gain +2 Era Score when you convert a city to your religion for the first time.||+2 Movement for Missionaries, Apostles and Inquisitors; newly-trained ones receive +2 Charges. +4 Great Prophet points per turn.||✓||✓||✓||-||-||-||-||-|
Hic Sunt Dracones
|Gain +3 Era Score when you discover a new continent or Natural Wonder. +1 Era Score when you kill a non-Barbarian naval unit.||Cities settled on a continent different than your Capital's gain +3 Population and +2 Loyalty per turn. Naval and Embarked units gain +2 Movement.||-||-||✓||✓||✓||-||-||-|
Reform the Coinage
|Gain +1 Era Score each time you successfully complete a Trade Route.||Your Traders cannot be Plundered. International Trade Routes provide +3 Gold per specialty District in the foreign city.||-||-||✓||✓||✓||-||-||-|
Heartbeat of Steam
|Gain +2 Era Score for each Industrial or later building constructed.||+10% Production toward Industrial Era and later wonders. Campus district's Science adjacency bonus provides Production as well.||-||-||-||✓||✓||-||-||-|
|Gain +1 Era Score each time you kill a non-Barbarian Corps in combat and +2 Era Score each time you kill a non-Barbarian Army in combat.||Unlocks a special Casus Belli which gives 75% less warmonger penalties than formal war and can be used immediately after Denouncing the target. +15% Production towards military units.||-||-||-||✓||✓||✓||✓||-|
Wish You Were Here
|Gain +1 Era Score for each Artifact extracted.||Cities with Governors receive 50% Tourism from World Wonders. +100% Tourism to all National Parks.||-||-||-||-||-||✓||✓||✓|
Bodyguard of Lies
|Gain +1 Era Score for each successful offensive operation.||Spies take no time to establish presence in an enemy city. Time to complete all offensive spy operations reduced by 25%.||-||-||-||-||-||✓||✓||✓|
Sky and Stars
|Gain +1 Era Score for each Aerodrome building constructed. Gain +1 Era Score each time a Great Person is Earned.||Unlocks the Eurekas for Advanced Flight, Nuclear Fission, and Rocketry if in the Atomic Era. If in the Information Era the Eurekas for Satellites, Robotics, Nuclear Fusion, and Nanotechnology are unlocked. +100% XP earned for all Air Units.
Unlocks the Eurekas for Satellites, Nuclear Fusion, and Nanotechnology if in the Information Era. When chosen in the Future Era the Eurekas for Smart Materials, Predictive Systems, and Offworld Mission are unlocked. +100% XP earned for all Air Units. Aluminum mines accumulate +2 more resources per turn.
|Gain +1 Era Score each time you kill a non-Barbarian unit with a Giant Death Robot.||Gain a Giant Death Robot in your capital. Receive 3 Uranium per turn. Uranium mines accumulate +1 more resource per turn.||-||-||-||-||-||-||✓||✓|
Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.
Types of Ages
This is, as the name suggests, the most common Age - when your people are neither inspired nor despairing. By default, it is earned with an Era Score of 12; each Golden Age you've had increases this threshold by 5, and each Dark Age you've had decreases it by 5. Also, each city you have at the start of the age increases this threshold by 1. Each Citizen exerts the normal amount of Loyalty pressure (1), and Dedications have only their basic bonuses.
During a Normal Age, the globe icon on the lower right corner of the screen will appear to be blue-colored as it typically appears.
A Golden Age is earned when your Era Score is at least 12 points above the Dark Age threshold. Your people are inspired by the great achievements of your civilization in the past era and are especially dedicated to your empire, both ensuring that your cities will remain loyal and that foreign cities will be tempted to join you. Each Citizen exerts 1.5 points of Loyalty pressure, and Dedications earn special powerful bonuses. Note that while you're in a Golden Age, it will be more difficult to earn a Normal or Golden Age in the subsequent era - their Era Score thresholds increase.
During a Golden Age, the globe icon for the next turn changes to have a glow with a golden color, and the visuals for the game map become brighter.
A Dark Age happens when your Era Score is too low to pass the Dark Age threshold. This is a time that tests your subjects' loyalty and honor - they lose faith in your leadership and are more easily tempted to defect to other empires (meaning that their Loyalty falls to 0.5 per Citizen). You will have to take extra steps to ensure this doesn't happen, and that your empire doesn't fall apart under the weight of your failures as its leader.
Dark Ages are trying times, but they are also times of opportunities. First, you gain access to special Dark Age Policy Cards, which can help you weather the storm (albeit at a price). Second, the next Dark Age threshold is lowered, making it easier to achieve at least a Normal Age in the next era. Third, if you surpass expectations and actually manage to fill the Golden Age meter for the next era, you will gain a Heroic Age!
During a Dark Age, the globe icon for the next turn becomes black-colored, and the visuals for the game map get darkened.
A Heroic Age is proof of (and a reward for) the resilience and industriousness of your civilization in overcoming the challenges of a Dark Age. It is earned when you fill the Golden Age meter while in a Dark Age (which is actually easier, since the thresholds are lower).
When moving to the next era, you will get the Loyalty bonus of a Golden Age, but instead of receiving one Golden Age Dedication bonus, you receive three! Needless to say, you will get a huge gameplay boost.
The brand new Ages/World Eras system introduces a nice overlay of additional sophistication to an already complicated game. Although according to the developers its main function should be to complement the Loyalty system and improve or worsen your chances of flipping foreign cities (or their chances of flipping yours), in practice the main benefit of the Era system is Golden Ages. Their special Dedication bonuses are quite powerful, and can turn the tide of the game when used in the right way.
Of course, in order to get to a Golden Age you first need to bump up your Era Score. Here is where the right Dedication (when in a Normal or Dark Age) is extremely important: you should think very carefully about the direction in which the gameplay will take you over the next few dozen turns. For example, if you're setting up your first couple of cities, it is likely you will be building Districts, and so Monumentality will help you earn extra points. If, on the other hand, you've just set up your religion and are starting to spread it, Exodus of the Evangelists should be your choice. Similar choices in later eras let you make use of exploration or warfare as means of advancing Era Score. Match your strategy for the immediate future to the right Dedication and you're almost certain to reach a Golden Age in the next World Era!
And now let's discuss the use of the various Golden Age Dedications:
- Monumentality - This is one of the best choices in the first three eras of the game when it's available, and especially so for the Classical World Era (which is the very first you will enter after some 40-50 turns). It allows the use of Faith for Settler purchases, which is exactly what you need in the beginning of the game in order to expand quickly! In later eras you may want to focus on Builder purchases, however, since your new cities will now have claimed new territory and new Resources which will need upgrading. Quicker movement for Builders also comes very handy in a moment when your Road network is still incomplete.
- Pen, Brush and Voice - Only available in the first two World Eras, this Dedication is actually more useful in the Medieval Era when you've had the chance to build some districts. The Inspiration boosts are not that great, although they will serve you regardless of the state of your empire. So, unless you've already built some of the appropriate districts, you should choose another Dedication.
- Free Inquiry - Similar to the above. The main bonus - Science from each Harbor and Commercial Hub - is useful only if you have such districts, and if they actually have adjacency bonuses! The Eureka boost is not that great, but will serve you automatically. Again, unless you're a seafaring or a trading power with the relevant districts already up or close to completion, you should choose another Dedication.
- Exodus of the Evangelists - This is a great choice for a civilization striving for a Religious Victory! In the Classical World Era it will significantly boost your Great Prophet points (if you still need those), speeding up the founding of your religion. Later it will immensely help with spreading it thanks to the additional charges Missionaries and Apostles get, not to mention that they will move quicker and outpace rival religious agents! However, if you're not that keen on having your own religion, this Dedication is all but useless, and you should consider using another one, especially if you're past the Classical Era.
- Hic Sunt Dracones - This Dedication's purpose is almost entirely to boost settling on other landmasses, and it is exceedingly good at doing that. It becomes available during the Renaissance and Industrial Eras when you should be exploring the globe with your newly-built/upgraded ships; these will move much faster, along with the Embarked Settlers, ready to found new cities far from home. And these new cities will get a jump-start with 3 Population (instead of just 1), and extra Loyalty, making their development that much faster! However, there is a catch: the Dedication won't do you any good if you haven't discovered other continents, if the other continents you have discovered are already taken, or if you haven't developed your empire enough to research Cartography and prepare to expand overseas. So, it will take some preparation if you want to make the best out of it: when the Renaissance Era approaches, you should beeline Cartography and prepare some Settlers, then hit the oceans as soon as you can. If you've no particular mind for expansion, you can use the +2 Movement bonus for ships to explore the world faster, but there are usually better picks for both the Renaissance and Industrial World Eras.
- Reform the Coinage - This is the safest bet for the midgame, available from the Renaissance all the way to the Modern World Era. It provides a hefty Gold profit - something which is always useful in a variety of situations - plus safety from pesky Barbarian pirates looking for easy profits. Try to trade with well-developed cities (i.e. those with lots of districts) in order to maximize the effect. Of course, this Dedication will be more useful if you have more Trade Routes, but even an average of 4 may give you 50+ Gold income and allow you to develop your empire in any direction you want via Purchasing buildings and units.
- Heartbeat of Steam - Available in the Industrial and the Modern World Eras, this is one of the best overall Dedications, giving you a Production bonus for every Campus with an adjacency bonus! There are usually no Campuses without any adjacency bonuses, but even in this case the bonus Production for Wonders will help you get ahead of the competition. Still, a Science-oriented civilization with lots of Campuses will make the best use of this Dedication; use the opportunity to attempt to build as many Wonders as you can. Of course, it may just so happen that you cannot or will not build Wonders at this moment, or that your Campus adjacency bonuses are not really that great. In this case you should select another Dedication, such as To Arms! or Reform the Coinage.
- To Arms! - This Dedication is specifically designed to help you wage war: not only does it boost your unit production speed, but it also gives you a special Casus Belli which is usable at any time! What's more, this Dedication will be active from the Renaissance all the way to the Information World Era, making it a godsend for any civilization that wants to win a Domination Victory. But even if you don't, the bonus toward unit production can be useful if you suddenly find yourself on the receiving end of a declaration of war. Of course, if you're heading for a Science or Cultural Victory you should select another Dedication.
- Wish You Were Here - Conversely, this Dedication is tailored to the needs of a player pursuing a Cultural Victory, and will be particularly useful if you've managed to build many Wonders and National Parks. To make the best use of it, assign your Governors to the cities housing the Wonders, even if you risk missing out on some of their other abilities. Note that it is completely irrelevant which Governor is in such a city, so think strategically. However, you won't have any use for this Dedication if you're not going for a Cultural Victory.
- Bodyguard of Lies - This is the best all-purpose Dedication of the last two eras, vastly increasing the efficiency of your Spies! And since Espionage has many diverse uses in the game, you can always benefit from more efficient Spies. If none of the other late-game Dedications serve your purposes, choose this one and make sure to increase your Spies' efficiency through some of the Diplomatic Policies suitable for this purpose. Then enjoy stealing techs and Gold, and hampering your opponents' progress at every step!
- Sky and Stars - As the name suggests, this Dedication has two main uses: to help you progress towards the Scientific Victory (by getting the Eurekas for the most important techs), and to improve your air force. Note that the latter will only improve when earning XP, which means when they fight! So, if you're not engaging in wars or pursuing a Science Victory, you won't have any use for this Dedication.
- Automaton Warfare - Although it isn't available until the last two eras of the game, this Dedication should be your first choice if you're a warmonger. A free Giant Death Robot will give you a massive military advantage, especially if you've researched the technologies needed to unlock its upgrades (Advanced AI, Advanced Power Cells, Cybernetics, and Smart Materials). The extra Uranium from the Dedication and Mines will also provide your cities with Power and increase their Production and Science yields if you've built Nuclear Power Plants.
Golden and Dark Ages are among the new events that can shift the course of your game’s history. They are significant, but temporary, changes to a civilization that last for an Era. They will open up new opportunities for players to change their strategies, and change the state of the game between the player and their rivals. Having a Golden Age affords huge bonuses to Loyalty and other game systems, but makes earning future Golden Ages slightly more difficult.
Having a Dark Age hurts Loyalty in your cities and makes you vulnerable, but gives you an opportunity to earn a future Golden Age more easily. It also allows the use of special Dark Age policies and opens the door for an even more powerful Heroic Age. Think of it this way: While a Golden Age provides one Dedication bonus (a powerful Golden Age effect), being in a Heroic Age lets the player earn three Dedication bonuses (making it sort of a “triple” Golden Age).
In the Civilization VI base game, we have the idea of a “player era” – how far a player has advanced on their tech or civics tree. In this expansion, systems are very much tied to the idea of the “game era,” which is determined by individual player advancement and a few other behind-the-scenes adjustments. Think of these game eras like chapters in a book. Each has its own arc, and its own small ending, but leaves you wanting to discover the rest of the story by continuing to the next chapter. When you enter a new game era you may earn a Golden Age or a Dark Age. Which one you get is determined by your Era Score in the previous game era, a score that is increased by fulfilling certain objectives.
So while your neighbor may have been in a Golden Age last era, they may enter a Dark Age this era, opening up an opportunity for you to change your strategy. The key effect of Golden and Dark Ages: they change the Loyalty of a player’s cities. As Ages change and weak spots are exposed in empires, cities can declare independence and even change hands to new owners.
Win the game while in a Dark Age
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